Christophe Ruggia

Born in Rueil Malmaison in 1965, Christophe Ruggia grew up “here and there,” having changed addresses seventeen times during his childhood. His father died in a car accident when Ruggia was six years old, and two years later Ruggia settled in the South of France with his mother, sister, and stepfather. He studied at the Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français and  Paris VIII, then designed and implemented the first campaign against AIDS in Guyana, and produced several short films and a documentary on child victims of the war in Lebanon. Very quickly, childhood becomes the theme for Ruggia’s filmmaking territories. In 1993, his first short film, “L’enfance égarée/Childhood Lost,” which focuses on the wanderings of two youth who face violence in the city won numerous awards in many festivals. In 1998, he adapted the autobiographical novel by Azouz Begag “Le Gone du Chaâba,” into his first feature film, the story of a child who arrives with his family as first generation Algerian immigrants in the ghettos of Lyon. Winning awards at the Berlin Film Festival (CICAE award), Cannes (Cannes Grand Prix Junior 1998), nominated for a César in the category “Best First Work”, the film encountered its public in France  (with 500,000 tickets sold) and abroad before entering the educational program “School and Cinema” where the film has been screening for over thirteen years. His second film, “Les Diables/The Devils” (2001), which reveals the lives of actors Rottiers and Adèle Haenel, is again another story of an uprooted childhood, this time filmed on location under the surreal sun of Marseille. Awarded the “Junior Grand Prix Cannes 2002,” official selection in Toronto, San Sebastian, and winning prizes in numerous international festivals, the film was classified as one of the “top ten films of 2002″ by TIME MAGAZINE, in spite of a relative lack of commercial success in France though the work enjoyed positive reception from the press. Parallel to Ruggia’s personal commitments to the SRF (Society of Film Directors) where he was co-chair in 2010 and 2011, collective of filmmakers for the “undocumented,” and many collaborations, he wrote and directed his third feature film, “Dans la tourmente/In the storm” (2011), with Mathilde Seigner, Yvan Attal and Clovis Cornillac, a film noir set within a socio-political backdrop inspired by the working class childhood that Christophe Ruggia lived. With Patrick Rotman and Peter Trividic, he finished the screenplay “Untitled Yves Montand Project” now in pre-production, and is also working on adapting the novel by Kenneth Cook, “Overboard.”